this is bbc news. i'm lukwesa burak. the headlines at eight. the us defends its decision to drop a huge bomb on islamic state militants in afghanistan — 36 militants are thought to have been killed. the us also confirms it's assessing its military response to north korea's nuclear programme — china warns conflict could break out at any moment. the international development secretary, priti patel, has accused government and rebel forces in south sudan of deliberately blocking food aid. a huge operation is under way to move thousands of people from besieged towns in syria. also in the next hour, a warning over schools. the national union of teachers says it's prepared to take legal action against the government, over part of its plans to expand selective education in england. and at 8:30pm, we'll be looking at how the city of hull is being transformed by a year—long festival of arts and culture. good evening and
welcome to bbc news. the us says a huge bomb dropped on so—called islamic state militants in afghanistan was "the right weapon against the right target". president trump authorised the use of the weapon — known as the mother of all bombs — for the attack in which 36 militants were killed. the commander of us forces in afghanistan, generaljohn nicholson, said it had been carried out in coordination with the government in kabul. the former afghan president, hamid karzai, has condemned the attack. here's our security correspondent, frank gardner. a remote valley in a remote country. then, this.
11 tonnes of high explosive. on an isis tunnel complex in afghanistan. the blast was felt 30 miles away. the weapon used is called a massive ordnance airburst, also known as the mother of all bombs. this was its first time used in combat. this was the right weapon against the right target. we will continue to work shoulder to shoulder with our afghan comrades. to eliminate this threat to the afghan people, especially the people of this region, and indeed the people around the world. local villagers confirmed that isis fighters had set up bases in the mountains behind them, and said the bomb had hit its target. but the strike was condemned by both so—called islamic state and afghanistan's former president. how could the united states use afghanistan as a ground for experiments, for testing weapons of mass destruction? president trump's targets now
include three major problem areas for the us — afghanistan, syria and north korea. the massive weapon that the pentagon has used in afghanistan is intended to send a message to its enemies, that you're not safe underground. in syria, the trump administration will be hoping that last week's cruise missile strike would deter presdent assad from any further chemical attacks. but north korea is the biggest gamble. mr trump is hoping that sending his powerful naval armada offshore will deter any further nuclear tests. the question now, though, is, can he manage three global crises simultaneously? it's very possible that if these three scenarios come together, syria, afghanistan and north korea, it would overwhelm the policy—making capabilities of mr trump's administration. it would overwhelm the strategic planning capabilities
of the pentagon, and it would overwhelm the resource capabilities of the us military. but president trump and his entourage now feel they are on a roll, tackling head—on the foreign policy challenges that the previous administration was unable to resolve. there is now the risk that ramping up the rhetoric could lead america into more conflict, or that in the absence of any swift resolutions, mr trump may simply turn his back on foreign adventures and focus instead on domestic issues. frank gardner, bbc news. and we'll find out how this story and many others are covered in tomorrow's front pages atio:30 and 11:30 this evening in the papers. our guests joining me tonight are the journalist helen croydon and the independent‘s business editor, josie cox. north korea has vowed to mount a "merciless" response to any us provocation following comments from president donald trump
that the isolated regime's nuclear weapons programme "will be dealt with." meanwhile, pyongyang is thought to be preparing for a massive military parade tomorrow at which its latest missile technology may be on display. our reporterjohn sudworth is with a group of foreign journalists invited to witness the event — his movements are being monitored and tightly controlled. they sing in north korea, the spectre of war looms large over daily life. these girls are singing about being soldiers... while, not far away, real ones crowd into a shrine to the country's founding president, general kim il—sung. these are scenes akin to a religious pilgrimage, but of course, in honour of a still ruling family dynasty
who have at their disposal all of the myth that would rival any of the world's great religions. and as the country prepares to display its devotion at the anniversary of kim il—sung's birth this weekend, there's an awareness of the rising tension with america. translation: we should have the nuclear weapons. if we do not have nuclear weapons, the nuclear weapon of another country will fall on our soil. translation: it doesn't matter whether the americans make the situation on the korean peninsula tense. it doesn't matter. we feel safe because we have the great leader, kim jong—un. this week, the current ruler, kimjong—un, held this meeting where his late grandfather was honoured. he is also thought to be planning a massive military parade
as a powerful tribute, and a message of defiance. children sing this is a country where art and armaments are blended in singular purpose, to demonstrate to the watching world that its nuclear ambitions will not be stopped. john sudworth, bbc news, pyongyang. we can talk no to professor hazel smith from the centre of korean studies at the school of oriental and african studies. this is something a little different this year about the celebrations? when we are looking at the tensions that are brewing, the statement coming from china and north korea saying it will
retaliate, and the us moving its ship out there, what is your feeling? we have seen these sorts of crisis before over the last 25 yea rs, crisis before over the last 25 years, many occasions when the united states and north korea look like they are going to war. in united states and north korea look like they are going to war. ”119911, president like they are going to war. in 1994, president clinton was planning a war at the white house, we have seen theseissues at the white house, we have seen these issues before. but now we have a very unstable government in north korea. you have somebody who looks like they have got growing influence in north korea and there are rivalries within the elite at the top. so you have instant —— instability, rivalries at the top, the brutality, but a youngish leader who has no experience of controlling the various factions within the country, so you have an unstable leadership, a population which
despite all the energy —— images you have shown, does not believe a word of the propaganda that comes out of pyongyang, although it has to go on all these careers, 25 million people, the same size as australia, they have got access to a market, they have got access to a market, they know about china, the no they are living in a country where their neighbours are better off. so you have an unstable situation in north korea. at the same time you have in the us, again, a president who seems to be leaning towards military action rather than trying to resolve action rather than trying to resolve a crisis through what is often very very painful diplomacy. we know from in the uk that it was painful to have a diplomatic process in ireland where people were sitting on the table with people they thought of as murderers, and terrorists. but in order to have a political solution to this long—lasting conflict on the peninsula, it seems unlikely we will
see anything positive happened to military escalation. china is saying that this could very well happen, there would be no winners coming out of this. first, do you think it could well escalate, and china being north korea's, one of theirfew allies, who are those comments being directed at, north korea or the us? it is not just directed at, north korea or the us? it is notjust china who are saying there would be no winners if there was escalation. if you talk to people inside the us government, officials in defence, people in south korea, officials, they are all saying this could very well, there was escalation, it could be a protracted conflict. seoul is only 35 miles from the north korean border. even if there was a conflict, north korea would be defeated, it is a weak military power compared to its neighbours, but nevertheless there could be a lot of damage done to seoul, never mind china, whose north east border
is with north korea. so that isn't the fact. if there was installation, there would be a lot of damage and a lot of people would be killed and there would be a lot of casualties. this is not possible to contain a conflict, military conflict, within just a bombing, as we have seen in the last few days in afghanistan. professor smith, thank you very much. pope francis is mocking good friday with the traditional —— marking good friday with the traditional procession. let us go to rome. there is pope francis. perhapsjust he but what is being said. this is all part of the holy week commemorations, commemorating the last few days ofjesus's life. and
this year, there will be, there are 14 stations, there have been guests invited to help carry the cross around, this is a tradition that goes back to the 18th century, i believe, with pope benedict the 14th starting the traditional. the cross is carried for parts of the journey by believers from two other countries. this year it is going to be portugal, where pope francis will be portugal, where pope francis will be heading later in the year. he will be sitting under a canopy. in the past, the pope would have carried the himself but age is not alone that sylvia sitting under a canopy and he will be listening to him edited. this is a guest that is invited every year to write a meditation and to read it out as well. it will be done for the first time bya well. it will be done for the first time by a secular woman. she is a
french professor. so there we have the colosseum in rome. a young british woman who was stabbed to death on a tram in jerusalem has been named as hannah bladon. the 23—year—old was taken to hospital, but died soon after. she was an exchange student from the university of birmingham. two other people were injured in the attack in the old city. a 57—year—old palestinian man has been arrested. police say the suspect had recently been released from a psychiatric hospital. buses are evacuating hundreds of villagers and fighters from four rebel held villages in syria, two of them close to the capital, damascus. it follows a deal struck between president assad's government and rebel forces. but the opposition says it amounts to deliberate displacement of the president's opponents. the international development secretary, priti patel, has accused government and rebel forces in south sudan of deliberately blocking food aid. on a visit to the famine—stricken country, she also accused both sides
of what she called abhorrent human rights abuses, including rape and murder. she was speaking to our diplomatic correspondent, james landale, who travelled with her and sent this report. in many civil wars, aircraft bring death. but here in south sudan, they bring hope, dropping not bombs, but bags. this is leer, a desolate spot near the front line of the conflict that has left millions of people hungry and displaced. these bags are full of food, paid for by british taxpayers, to relieve the famine that the un has formally declared here. we travelled with priti patel, the international development secretary, to see how the aid she has ordered is being delivered to regions that are the hardest to reach. airdrops that she admits are complicated and expensive, and not enough is getting through.
there is a conflict taking place and food is being used as part of that conflict. this is a man—made famine. there is a civil war taking place here in south sudan, and we've seen all sorts of abhorrent practices take place in terms of human rights violations, rape, murder, people being persecuted. that has to stop. but in the meantime, uk aid is providing a lifeline. so close is the fighting that this is only a temporary food distribution centre, here for just a few days while security can be negotiated. to people here, these bags of seed represent a chance to live, a chance to survive. but to british ministers, they also represent the sharp edge of british soft power — proof, they hope, that britain is still playing a key role on the international stage despite brexit, and, they hope, an argument against critics back home who say britain's aid budget isjust too large. i think for viewers back home and for people who question our aid
budget, this makes us stand tall in the world. it gives us influence. this is south sudan's only children's hospital, where more and more babies are arriving with acute malnutrition. cecilia is 18 months old and severely malnourished. her mother's dead, and her grandmother had no milk to feed her. i had to beg food from neighbours, she told me, but after a few days here, cecilia's diarrhoea and fever has got better. this war‘s also forced people from their homes. this is the registration centre over the border in uganda, where thousands are arriving each day. mary fled after her husband was killed by soldiers. one night, her husband was followed out of their home and he was pulled away from the house and slaughtered. he was slaughtered like an animal is butchered in a slaughterhouse. for all the aid, this is a crisis that many think will get worse
before it gets better. james landale, bbc news, near the border of south sudan. the headlines on bbc news: the us defends its decision to drop a huge bomb on islamic state militants in afghanistan — 36 militants are thought to have been killed. the us also confirms it's assessing its military response to north korea's nuclear programme. china warns conflict could break out at any moment. priti patel has accused government and rebel forces in south sudan of deliberately blocking food aid. sport now, and for a full round—up, and the bbc sport centre. sebastian vettel looks like the man to beat at the bahrain grand prix.
he was fastest in both practice sessions, three tenths quicker than lewis hamilton, despite his ferrari breaking down in second practice. meanwhile it has become firm to the 2009 world champion jenson meanwhile it has become firm to the 2009 world championjenson button will be making a brief comeback next month. he has agreed to replace fernando alonso from mclaren at the monaco grand prix. but britain is still contracted as it —— but it is still contracted as it —— but it is still contracted as a reserve driver for mclaren. let's move on to football. it has been a busy day in the football league with seven —— several promotion and relegation permutations. no promotion party for writing just yet. they have taken another big step towards the premier league. the host began the better side before brighton to control and anthony knockaert scored near the end of the first half. wolves dominated possession after the break with its saves from david stockdale before knockaert sealed the victory.
brighton will be as good as promoted if they beat wigan at the max on easter monday. newcastle a re easter monday. newcastle are closing in on promotion, playing leeds this evening. it is the visitors who have gone the closest so far. it is still goalless at the moment, 32 minutes on the clock. so, here are today's earlier results. one game in the scottish premiership tonight between kilmarnock and hearts. a killie victory would steer them further to safety but it is goalless at the moment after half an hour. manchester united will have to do withoutjuan
manchester united will have to do without juan mata for the manchester united will have to do withoutjuan mata for the rest of the season through injury. he had an operation on a groin problem last month but had hoped to be back playing. jose mourinho has confirmed his absence, adding to the long—term injury concerns for defenders phil jones and chris smalling. great britain's cyclists have finally got a gold at the track world championships. it is in the women's on them, one by getty archibald. it is a multi—event decided by points over four different races. archibald was going second into the final event, but she did enough to beat the australian cyclists. it is the second world title of archibald's career but her first individual gold. title of archibald's career but her first individual goldlj title of archibald's career but her first individual gold. i feel in pain! but yes, ifeel really privileged to pull it off in the end. that was a very gripping race, i really thought i had lost it in the middle. just chase and being attacked. got back on in the end.
i pulled it out of the bag. in rugby union, harlequins and exeter, arguably a big game for harlequins, who was hoping to sneak into the last available play—off place and a win would move them equal on points with leicester. they took the lead early in the first half. exeter hit back 15 minutes later. exeter need a bonus point win to go level with wasps. the latest score is 8—8. one match in the pro12, glasgow warriors are at home, currently 14—0 up warriors are at home, currently 14—0 up to zebre. coming up to half—time there. kosovo would remain top of the super league after a convincing 42—24 victory over wigan. still two points clear at the top. st helens began life without head coach keiron cunningham. also today, salford red
devils meet leigh centurions. —— beat recent trends. that's all the spot now, we will have more in the next hour. —— all the sport. the national union of teachers says it's prepared to take legal action against the government, over plans which it believes are being used to expand selective education in england. the union has said it's identified schools which it believes are bending the rules by introducing some selection in comprehensive schools, based on the results of a test. the move comes as ministers seek to lift the ban on new grammar schools. our education editor bra nwen jeffreys reports from the conference in cardiff. grammar schools have a long history. in altrincham, 100 years of tradition. then, almost 20 years ago, new grammar schools were banned. now, some comprehensives offer a grammar stream — for many, a way of stretching the brightest. but could this also be used to get around the law? so today, a warning of legal action.
they fear ministers could encourage more of this. the schools where we'd have an issue around this is a school that's advertising a grammar stream, that is putting children through tests for it, and where we get the sense from documents and other things that children stay in that stream, that it's actually a selective system that is being introduced. that's what we would want to challenge. is this essentially a shot across the bow of the government, to say don't try to do this without changing the law? what we're saying to government is if you want grammar schools, you have to win it through the parliamentary process. do not try and go round the back way. who can tell me what soluble was? for schools like elton primary in cheshire, the big worry is budgets. bills going up mean less money per pupil, leaving school governors facing tough decisions. we're already having to consider over the next three years losing at least two teachers, merging year groups, potentially shortening the school week by one or maybe half a day.
these are all things that we are having to consider. for teachers, that means fears aboutjobs, so a warm welcome for labour's shadow chancellor. this is the first real—terms cuts in school budgets for two decades. this is the worst school funding settlement, since, to be frank, i was wearing flares. schools can stream pupils after they get a place. the government says that's perfectly legal. and only a change in the law could allow new selective schools. branwen jeffreys, bbc news. columnist kelvin mackenzie has been
suspended fallen comments he made about a footballer. the lovable mayor said he had reported the article to the police for a racial slur. the sun apologised for any offence caused and added the paper was unaware of the footballer‘s heritage. mr mackenzie has disputed that his article was racist. a vigil has been held in lagos to mark the three years since the mass abduction of more than 270 schoolgirls by boko haram extremists. rallies have also been held to urge the government to increase efforts to free them. most of the girls, who were abducted from the town of chibok, are still missing. well, isa sanusi from amnesty international told me a little earlier that they wrote a report after the kidnappings, which had warned the government that something like this was likely to happen. at that time, we actually issued a
statement saying that the government received the warning before the mass abduction of the over 200 girls at that school, and almost every day, we get stories, most especially of abductions, all from patients —— from places... sorry, amjust jumping in, what is it the government is not doing to help the situation? well, the government is actually saying that it is doing a lot, and it is also saying it is negotiating, and some girls were rescued in october. actually, the government is saying, look, we are doing our best. but as they are
saying that they have to do more because we are not convinced. —— we are saying. finally, we understand that a lot of these girls are used now increasingly as suicide bombers, but also to raise money. the families pay for the girls to be returned? well, most of these kind of deals actually, the details do not come out in public, but there is a tendency of boko haram to use the abducted, they turned them into sex slaves, and using the men among them as combatants in a fight against the people and the government. so is thatis people and the government. so is that is actually the most worrying thing, they are using the abduction asa thing, they are using the abduction as a recruitment tool in some cases, and because of the threat they are
facing from the security, they are increasingly adopting more and more girls and young men. labour has accused the government of "rewarding failure", in response to new figures which suggest the government will have to pay millions of pounds more than planned to atos and capita, two private companies which assess people claiming disability benefits. i was joined a little earlier by our political correspondent eleanor garnier, who said the government was under pressure about where it would find the extra money. if there is going to be £200 million extra needed to be paid to those companies, where will that money come from? and are people going to be missing somewhere else —— missing out someone else along the line? we have not been able to get an answer to that from the government. the government is saying they need to do these assessments effectively because that is how they get the right money to the right people. and also to make sure this is cost—effective for the taxpayer. interestingly, we heard from the
former secretary of state for work and pensions, stephen crabb. he said today that actually, in the past the department has not been very good at carrying out these assessments, that is, it has not got the estimates right so there are more people claiming than expected, and that is why these contracts are costing more. labour has said the whole system is not fit for purpose, the costs are spiralling out of control, and it has criticised the government for rewarding failure. residents of a zoo in florida have been given some special easter treats, children turning what others and into jack easter eggs. turning watermelons. but the rhinos did not seem watermelons. but the rhinos did not seem particularly keen on the aidan —— unusually coloured fruit, sticking mostly to their usual diet of grass. here's tomasz schafernaker with the
weather. it won't warm up. as far as the weather go, sunny spell, some rain round too, in fact at the moment, in the last few hours we have had some rain across northern wales, heavy rain, and some of the rain will be moving through the midlands this evening, and then later on in the night, it tends to fizzle away, that weather front here, it will have patchy rain left over. so the second half of the might is mostly dry across the uk, with clear spells across the uk, with clear spells across northern england, northern ireland and scotland and here a touch of grass frost outside town. tomorrow, not a bad day, it will be fairly bright, the winds are still coming generally speaking out of the north, north—west here, so chilly conditions for all of us, but in the sunshine, it feels just about ok, i think. into easter sunday, easter